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From Lars Francke <>
Subject Establishing an ASF project for training
Date Mon, 17 Dec 2018 13:22:41 GMT

I'd like to start a discussion around establishing a project (or Central
Service) at the ASF to host and develop training and related materials for
ASF (and possibly others, where it makes sense) projects.

I'm a committer and contributor to a few projects and make money doing
consulting work. Naturally people do contact us for training, and we have
developed our own slideware etc. but we find it incredibly hard work to
keep those up-to-date.

We also work with lots of other companies and they all face the same
challenges. At the same time, we do not believe that a slide-deck is worth
that much on its own (others disagree, as we used to). We believe the
instructor is the real selling-point and especially when that person is
deeply embedded in the projects itself as a committer or PMC.

So, we as a company[0] would like to donate our slide decks and other
resources we have and establish an ASF wide training project in the hopes
that we as a community can collaborate on those resources. We are currently
talking to partners to assess whether they are interested in joining us in
open sourcing their material.

I'm not sure if this is a "Central Services" kind of thing or if it should
be an Incubator project to begin with. I'm posting this here because I
think there are good arguments for it being a project (e.g. it appears as a
“project” in all lists that others can contribute to, it follows a familiar
structure etc.). It might be a bit different than other projects though
(e.g. maybe there are no real releases?).

This is also not limited to just slides obviously but also accompanying
code and potentially other media forms.

One concern I have is that the material should be as objective as possible,
but our clients especially value our (often subjective) input on the
matureness of tools (third-party as well as ASF), processes and
communities. So, we usually include that in our slides. I guess anyone
using this material would need to customize it.

This is how I see it but I'm happy to change based on feedback.
In scope:
* Develop shared material that can be used for trainings
* Develop “labs” or “hands-on” exercises
* Develop or document an infrastructure that can be used for those labs
* Potentially develop tools to manage the material (e.g. ideally a slide
repository that contains “modules” that can be easily reused and combined)

Out of scope (for now at least)
* Something like what the CNCF has with their “Kubernetes Training
Program”[1] with certified training partners
* Project documentation

I wasn’t sure whether to start this discussion in members@ and/or here or
somewhere else entirely. But as we believe it should be a “project” I think
this is the best place for it. I’m happy to cross-post if you think it

I'm looking forward to any and all feedback you might have on this. I would
be happy to draw up a formal Incubator Proposal once we agree on a result
and shape.

Anticipated FAQs:

Q: Shouldn’t each project take care of its own training?
A: Yes and no. Ideally a project should be well documented but developing
material for professional “training” is quite different from writing
documentation in my experience. I think it's better to have a single
central project doing this than having this as part of every project
itself. One reason being that it makes sense to have cross-project
trainings (e.g. no one is interested in an “Apache Hadoop” training. They
all want to learn about the ecosystem).

Q: Isn't the ASF all about code, now you want to do PPT!
A: We’ve had committers for documentation for a long time and I’d actually
like to see much more of that in the future. I think it’s not about the
code but about merit. We have a lot of Apache Way presentations now (which
could be part of this project) that go into depth on this one.

Q: We have the Community project[2], should this not be part of that
A: I honestly don’t know. There is definitely some overlap or alignment but
from all I’ve seen and read I think these could very well be two distinct
projects but “we” could follow a very similar structure and probably reuse
some content and tools.

Q: I don't like PPT/keynote/Apache OpenOffice/HTML slides/... everyone
should do PechaKucha at all times.
A: We are not set on any format for the content, finding a suitable format
will be part of this project’s mission. To me this is a technical
discussion like it happens a hundred times a day on the Apache Jira and
Mailing Lists. There will be disagreement and some people will be
disappointed by some of the choices made but that’s no different than any
other project.

Q: How can I integrate slides from this project to match my corporate
design? I'm not allowed to not use CD.
A: Another technical question (plus probably one that involves legal@) to
which I do not yet have an answer.

Thank you Bernd Fondermann, Sönke Liebau and Tim Robertson for the review
of this mail.


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